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Energy Drone & Robotics Summit

Breakout Session Streams:

All new for 2019! Focused session streams featuring key industry topics will be featured in breakout sessions during the conference. Details on each of the four streams and session topics are included below.

Session Streams



UAV Operations:

UAV ops

Real-world best practices and use case studies for UAV/unmanned systems operations in energy & engineering – asset management, infrastructure inspections, mapping & surveying, remote data collection, high-tech sensor deployment, reducing operational and personnel risks.

We will explore opportunities and options for scaling up UAVs to increase safety, efficiency and profitability in critical infrastructure environments.  The UAV operations session stream includes:

  • Best practices for in-house, outsource and hybrid UAV programs and business cases for each model
  • Designing, launching & scaling energy/engineering UAV programs
  • Building your UAV program foundation:
  • Designing the optimal UAV program for your energy operations:
  • Real-experience UAV program launch & build
  • Building the business case, ROI
  • Program concept and program reality/ operation tools for operations manager and pilots/field focused safety management system tools/maintenance challenges
  • BVLOS, EVLOS and the emerging ROI behind UAV ops in new energy-specific sectors and facilities
  • Regulatory & policy updates, current & proposed (federal, state and local)
  • Fugitive emissions/methane detection, compliance & detection
  • Use of UAVs for EH&S/emergency response with critical infrastructure
  • Risk management, legal, privacy, liability & insurance considerations
  • Vetting UAS platforms, UAV & robotics services for energy & engineering specific operations
  • Energy UAV/unmanned systems selection considerations, analysis of available platforms, payloads and systems that work best for energy assets
  • Operational considerations & updates for the energy enterprise-codes, standards, certifications and best practices in energy facilities including training and safety (SMS)
  • Unmanned systems program operations management/software for the enterprise: considerations, costs, data collection & analysis, workflows, reporting
  • Field-testing UAVs: collision avoidance, LiDAR technologies, BVLOS, night ops, power sources
  • Innovative drone partnerships: industry / university collaboration, developments & opportunities
  • Aerial manned, unmanned and satellite solutions for energy data acquisition


The Robotics/automation session stream gathers the global energy & engineering inspection and maintenance robotics/automation/intelligent systems community together to share the innovative progress and rapid development of robotics techniques and solutions, focusing on the use of robotics/automation for inspection, maintenance, repairs and cleaning in various energy & engineering sectors including the oil & gas, chemical/petrochemical, nuclear, fossil, & renewable power generation and utility transmission/distribution industries.

You will hear real-world, industry-specific use cases and best practices that promote the rapid developments, availability, and application of ground/surface/subsea robotics techniques and solutions in technical inspections and maintenance of capital intensive/critical infrastructure.

  • Robotics applications for maintenance & inspections of energy assets
  • Autonomous sensor survey systems for hazardous environments
  • Development of in-situ repair and inspection robotic systems
  • Ethical frameworks for robotics in energy
  • Challenges and opportunities of in-service tank inspections with robotics
  • Putting robots to work in challenging environments
  • Launching & scaling your robotics and automation programs- best practices
  • Digital transformation for energy infrastructure with sensors, automation & robotics
  • The business case for robotics and automation for industrial facilities

UGV – Unmanned Ground Vehicle:

  • NDT- non-destructive testing with ground robotics
  • Collaborative autonomy for mobile ground robotics for inspection & maintenance
  • Ultrasonic and corrosion testing use cases with robotics
  • How the use of robotics and automation are improving the quality and safety of the maintenance, inspection and cleaning in energy environments.
  • Robotic inspection and maintenance reduction in shutdown times, preventing human entry of vessels and other equipment.  
  • Reduction of costs related to the services required to enable/facilitate human confined space entry will all be examined in this robotics/automation session stream.
  • In T&D- transmission and distribution, use cases/tech updates for robots able to:
    • Glide along shield wires to inspect overhead transmission lines
    • Maneuver inside underground vaults to inspect electrical cables
    • Climb on and inspect overhead porcelain, glass, and polymer insulators
    • Inspect substation components and protect them from intruders
    • Swim through the oil inside large transformers to inspect the core

AUV – Autonomous Underwater Vehicles:

  • Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) – updates and use cases
    • The AUVs are able to perform complex inspections of risers, data harvesting from subsea sensors, contactless monitoring of the cathodic protection systems.
    • Evaluation of energy assets and high-bandwidth data transfer while submerged.
    • Inspection/repair/maintenance (IRM) services subsea have traditionally relied on vessel-based, ROV, or diver operations. With the aim of significantly reducing OPEX costs as well as minimizing environmental impact, industry leaders are embracing the future value of autonomous subsea vehicles.


The data/analytics/AI session stream explores the rapidly growing unmanned systems (UAVs/robotics/automation) data acquisition, data processing, and data analysis for actionable results and insights in energy & engineering.

Beyond acquiring and analysis these sessions will go into how this new era of data can be harnessed to create actionable results in the energy enterprise concerning capital infrastructure.  In addition discussion on how to trust the data and the AI enabled analysis will be a key focus in this stream.

  • Planning for integration with current/legacy inspection / maintenance systems and workflows
  • Big data handling, storage & analytics: integrating/harnessing UAV/robotics/automation data, and aligning with data captured from existing sources
  • Edge, fog and cloud computing options and opportunities
  • Data visualization/digital twins
  • Data security/cybersecurity from acquisition through analysis
  • Best practices for in-house, outsource and hybrid data analysis
  • AI enabled data analysis- what exists today and how is it being utilized
  • Leveraging and managing large data sets: processing, sharing, storing
  • 3D imaging, surveying, mapping: tools & technologies
  • Integrating unmanned systems data with existing ERP systems to allow predictive maintenance solutions

Industrial Unmanned Security & C-UAS

The industrial unmanned security & C-UAS session stream, sponsored by Fortem Technologies, focuses specifically on drone detection/deterrence, counter-drone strategies for critical infrastructure and capital assets in energy.

This session stream incorporates energy specific speakers and roundtables of experts who will provide a deep dive into unmanned security & counter-UAS for energy assets & facilities. A few highlighted topics of discussion include: deterrence, early detection/surveillance, delay/containment, rapid response/mitigation and post-incident analysis, including;

  • Robotics & drones for perimeter and facility security
  • Legal/insurance
  • How to legally take active countermeasures – what can you do?
  • Safety act: energy facilities, drone operators and tech providers
  • Anti-drone/security technology ecosystem
  • Regulatory updates on the latest from DHS/DOE/DOJ/FAA
  • Energy facility security officer perspectives
  • Data security/cybersecurity
  • Counter-UAS tech roundtable:
  • Facility & perimeter security and surveillance with UAVs and robotics

The agenda with the full schedule is available here.